Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 13, 2008
Male births are more likely to reduce quality of life and increase severe post-natal depression
Women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer from post-natal depression and reduced quality of life.

Predicting the radiation risk to ESA's astronauts
European scientists have developed the most accurate method yet for predicting the doses of radiation that astronauts will receive aboard the orbiting European laboratory module, Columbus, attached to the ISS this week.

Authors, illustrator Win AAAS/Subaru SB&F
Four authors and an illustrator of children's science books have won the 2008 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, a prize intended to promote science literacy by drawing attention to the importance of good science writing and illustration.

Possible progenitor of special supernova type detected
Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have reported the possible detection of a binary star system that was later destroyed in a supernova explosion.

A Valentine's Day story: Women more perceptive than men in describing relationships
Women are better than men in describing their feelings and those of their romantic partners than are men, while the latter tend to project their own feelings upon their partners more than women.

Neil deGrasse Tyson receives 2007 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, as winner of the 2007 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award.

Most fuel-efficient vehicles honored with ecoENERGY for Vehicles Awards
The government of Canada recognized the manufacturers of the most fuel-efficient cars and light trucks for 2008 through the ecoENERGY for Vehicles Awards.

Gliding to gold -- world-beating software could boost British swimming
New computer software could enable Britain's swimmers to improve a key aspect of their technique more quickly and effectively than previously possible -- and so help them win more medals in major championships in future.

New meat-eating dinosaur duo from Sahara ate like hyenas, sharks
Two new 110 million-year-old dinosaurs unearthed in the Sahara Desert highlight the unusual meat-eaters that prowled southern continents during the Cretaceous Period.

HIV persists in the gut despite long-term HIV therapy
Because of the importance of the gut to HIV disease, scientists hoped that long-term treatment with antiretroviral drugs could eradicate HIV from the GALT.

Sex differences in the brain's serotonin system
A new thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that the brain's serotonin system differs between men and women.

Debut issue of Foot & Ankle Specialist
Foot infections are common among diabetic patients and are a major cause of hospitalization and amputation.

Seeking sustainability in a world of instability
For most northern indigenous people, the roughly 3 million caribou in the world are their most important terrestrial subsistence resource, and while hunters and scientists alike have long expressed concern about the on-going availability of caribou, their perceptions of the causes of change differ.

Genetic breakthrough supercharges immunity to flu and other viruses
Researchers at McGill University have discovered a way to boost an organism's natural anti-virus defenses, effectively making its cells immune to influenza and other viruses.

'Genetic corridors' are next step to saving tigers
The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Panthera Foundation announced plans to establish a 5,000 mile-long

Probiotics increase mortality in patients with severe pancreatitis
Probiotics are associated with an increased mortality in patients with severe acute pancreatitis, and do not reduce the risk of infectious complications in these patients.

Elsevier Foundation announces grants for innovative libraries and new scholars
The Elsevier Foundation has announced today that it has committed a total of $594,000 in grants to 13 institutions from around the world in support of initiatives that promote the work of libraries and scholars in science, technology and medicine.

Routine screenings uncover hidden carbon monoxide poisoning
A study by Rhode Island Hospital emergency physicians suggests that screening all ER patients for carbon monoxide poisoning is a simple yet potentially life-saving practice.

PNAS announces 2007 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has selected six outstanding papers for the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize, given to papers that reflect the highest standards of scientific excellence and originality.

NIH report on intracranial stent points out need for upcoming large-scale clinical trial
A preliminary study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that a stent designed to open clogged arteries in the brain was successfully deployed in nearly all cases and significantly reduced arterial blockage in the short term.

Seismic hazards, mineral resources, and more on agenda for geoscientists in Las Vegas
Approximately 500 geoscientists will gather Mar. 19-21 2008 for a combined meeting of the Cordilleran and Rocky Mountain Sections of the Geological Society of America.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2008
The following contains news tips from ORNL's latest research.

Missing link shows bats flew first, developed echolocation later
The discovery of a remarkably well-preserved fossil representing the most primitive bat species known to date demonstrates that the animals evolved the ability to fly before they could echolocate.

Bacterial toxin closes gate on immune response, Penn researchers discover
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have demonstrated that a bacterial toxin from the common bacterium Staphylococcus aureus shuts down the control mechanism of the tunnel, called an ion channel, in immune cell membranes.

Smokers might benefit from earlier colon cancer screening
New evidence suggests screening for colorectal cancer, which is now recommended to begin at age 50 for most people, should start five to 10 years earlier for individuals with a significant lifetime exposure to tobacco smoke, a University of Rochester Medical Center study said.

AGU journal highlights -- Feb. 13, 2008
The Feb. 13 issue of AGU features

British doctors should be nationally licensed
UK doctors perform differently according to which medical school they attend, highlighting a need for an assessment common to all medical graduates.

How DDT metabolite disrupts breast cancer cells
Research has shown that the main metabolite of the insecticide DDT could be associated with aggressive breast cancer tumors, but there has been no explanation for this observation to date.

Location matters, even for genes
Moving an active gene from the interior of the nucleus to its periphery can inactivate that gene report scientists from the University of Chicago Medical Center in Nature.

Web will work wonders for the faint hearted
A new device could put the beat back into weak hearts -- and free patients from a lifetime of antirejection drugs.

2007 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize Awarded to Burton Richter
Burton Richter, a Nobel laureate in physics and former director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, has been awarded the 2007 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize for his outstanding contributions to science and its use in shaping of public policy.

DNA with a twist: New company to search for cancer drugs and antibiotics
A new company has joined the fight against MRSA and cancer.

UT Southwestern plastic surgeons deploy new carbon dioxide-based fractional laser
UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic surgeons are among a handful in the nation deploying a new type of laser that goes deeper into the skin to help reduce wrinkles, tighten surface structures and treat pigmentation differences.

Vaccine for stomach flu may be possible, UNC research shows
Every year, millions of people are infected with noroviruses -- commonly called

2007 AAAS Mentor Award goes to Carlos Castillo Chavez of Arizona State University
Carlos Castillo Chavez, a professor of mathematics, statistics and life sciences at Arizona State University, has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his efforts to help underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees in the sciences.

Microbial 'cheaters' help scientists ID 'social' genes
The first genome-wide search for genes governing social behavior has found that even the simplest social creatures -- the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum -- have more than 100 genes that help regulate cooperative behavior.

Great Ape Trust signs agreement with Universitas Nasional in Jakarta
Great Ape Trust of Iowa has signed its first international Memorandum of Understanding, a pact with Universitas Nasional in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Cheating is easy -- for the social amoeba
Cheating is easy and seemingly without cost for the social amoeba known as Dictyostelium discoideum, said a team of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University in Houston who conducted the first genome-scale search for social genes and found more than 100 mutant genes that allow cheating.

All Elsevier journals become COPE members
The Committee on Publication Ethics is pleased to announce its partnership with Elsevier, publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

2007 AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society, has named the pioneering climate scientist Robert Watson from the United Kingdom as winner of the 2007 AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award.

Predicting the perfect predator
Garlic mustard has become an invasive species in temperate forests across the United States, choking out native plants on forest floors and threatening ecosystem diversity.

Experimental MS drug shows promise, offers new window on disease
A drug therapy currently used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis had a significant effect in treating the most common form of multiple sclerosis in a small, short-term clinical trial led by scientists at University of California-San Francisco.

Remarkable new clothing may someday power your iPod
Nanotechnology researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a shirt that harvests energy from the wearer's physical motion and converts it into electricity for powering small electronic devices worn by soldiers in the field, hikers and other users.

Stem cells give clues to understanding cancer and make breakthrough in childhood leukaemia
Scientists in Switzerland are uncovering new clues about how cancer cells grow -- and how they can be killed -- by studying stem cells, 'blank' cells that have the potential to develop into fully mature or 'differentiated' cells and other scientists in UK have made a breakthrough in understanding the cause of the most common form of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Quantum weirdness, parallel worlds, dinosaur poop, and the ultimate fate of the universe...
The American Institute of Physics announced the winners of its 2007 Science Writing Awards today.

Smoking marijuana impairs cognitive function in MS patients
People with multiple sclerosis who smoke marijuana are more likely to have emotional and memory problems, according to research published Feb.

Priming scientists for successful media interviews
Scientists are frequently called upon to provide expert information on hot button issues that pervade the daily news headlines, yet most find themselves woefully unprepared for the bright lights of the television studio or leading questions from a newspaper journalist.

GLAST's Delta II rocket's first stage arrives in Cape Canaveral
The first stage of the Delta II rocket that will be used to launch the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope into space in May has arrived at Hangar M on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Computer analysis of 911 calls from Calif. wildfires offers potential early warning system
When confronted with emergencies or natural disasters, such as the wildfires that raged through San Diego and Los Angeles counties last October or the tornadoes that hit the southern US last week, residents often dial 9-1-1 as their first course of action.

Scientists solve structure of gene regulator that plays key role in cancer
Scientists at the Wistar Institute have collaborated on a major advance in understanding a gene regulator that contributes to some of the deadliest cancers in humans.

Geisinger study: PTSD a medical warning sign for long-term health problems
New Geisinger research finds that post-traumatic stress disorder is an indicator of long-term health problems, similar to biological warning signs such as elevated white blood cell counts.

A compound extracted from olives inhibits cancer cells growth and prevents their appearance
Scientifics of the University of Granada have found that maslinic acid, present in olive skin's leaf and wax, acts on antitumor cells controlling their alterations in growth processes.

Strange fluids may shed light on the universe
It's an ambitious task, recreating the universe in a bucket.

Rethinking what men and women want in a partner
When it comes to romantic attraction men primarily are motivated by good looks and women by earning power.

Upcoming meeting will explore new technologies for glaucoma clinical drug trials
The National Eye Institute and the Food and Drug Administration are sponsoring a symposium to consider new disease-relevant outcome measures appropriate for evaluating glaucoma therapies.

Cell biologists announce child-care grants for scientist-parents at annual meeting
In an innovative program to help junior researchers, particularly women, balance their responsibilities as scientists and parents, the American Society for Cell Biology today announced that a grant from the Elsevier Foundation will fund awards for child care during the ASCB 2008 Annual Meeting.

U of I study: exercise to avoid gallstones!
A new University of Illinois study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs.

Laser light creates black holes in the lab
Imagine being able to peek inside a black hole and even perform experiments there.

Patient with rare disorder responds to cancer drug
A rare disorder caused by an excess of two types of immune cells -- the mast cell found in various tissues and its blood-based twin, the basophil -- has successfully been treated with a cancer drug, report scientists from NIAID.

Sandia, Stirling Energy Systems set new world record for solar-to-grid conversion efficiency
Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems have set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate.

Fiber-based nanotechnology in clothing could harvest energy from physical movement
Nanotechnology researchers are developing the perfect complement to the power tie: a

When people feel powerful, they ignore new opinions, study finds
Don't bother trying to persuade your boss of a new idea while he's feeling the power of his position -- new research suggests he's not listening to you.

Study: When it comes to physical activity, one size does not fit all
A landmark University of Alberta study, analyzing a sample of over 275,000 individuals, has found that when it comes to participation in physical activity, one size does not fit all.

Brandeis researcher awarded grant to investigate memory and aging
Brandeis psychologist Margie E. Lachman has been awarded a $1.45 million five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging to learn more about factors that can minimize memory declines in middle-aged and older adults.

AAAS honors climate scientist James Hansen
James Hansen, a government scientist who has spoken forcefully about human influence on global climate despite pressure to alter his message, is the recipient of the 2007 AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility.

1st EMEA application filed for product using innovative intradermal microinjection system BD Soluvia
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, has submitted the first application in Europe to deliver a vaccine using BD Soluvia, the innovative microinjection system developed by Becton, Dickinson and Company.

American Cancer Society honors exemplary cancer caregivers
Eight outstanding cancer care providers from a variety of backgrounds and regions have been chosen to receive the 2008 American Cancer Society Lane W.

Singapore's BIOPOLIS and FUSIONOPOLIS on stage in Boston this week
Singapore's focused transformation into a scientific powerhouse in the biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering will stage a presence this week in Boston at the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology.

Cigarette after Valentine snuggle deadlier for some
The proverbial cigarette after a Valentine's Day snuggle can prematurely end a love affair, as new evidence emerges that a common defect in a gene significantly increases a smoker's risk of an early heart attack.

India caught in catastrophic smoking epidemic
India is in the midst of a catastrophic epidemic of smoking deaths, which is expected to cause about one million (10 lakh) deaths a year during the 2010s -- including one in five of all male deaths and one in 20 of all female deaths at ages 30-69, according to research to be published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sea cliff erosion, hemp construction materials and more at UCSD Engineering Conference
Sea cliff erosion prediction, an automatic cameraman, wall boards made from hemp and plant-based glues, computers with common sense, origami optics, privacy-preserving surveillance systems, the strength of toucan beaks, and stem cell control with nano-science are just a few of the more than 250 research projects from every corner of the engineering world that will be presented by UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering graduate students on Thursday Feb.

Active seniors curb health care costs
Group Health seniors are not only sweating to the oldies in local health clubs. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to